Here is a comprehensive list of the best rice terraces in the Philippines, many of which you’ve probably never heard of before.
When we speak of terraces, Banaue Rice Terraces or Batad Rice Terraces would surely come to mind first. After all, they are the most popular rice terraces in the Philippines and even in the entire world. These earthen masterpieces are priceless legacies of the ancient forefathers of the communities where they are located.
While we normally look at them as captivating views, little do most of us know that these terraces portray the incredible engineering skills of the ancient people. And that, they are lasting legacies of the indigenous communities’ collective values of hard work, industry, unity, and creativity.
While both international and local tourists troop to Batad or Banaue to glimpse of these majestic creations, it is worth mentioning that there are many other rice terraces unknown to mainstream tourism. It takes an extra dose of adventurous and passionate spirit if you want to explore these hidden rice terraces.
In this travel guide, I’ll show you some of the best rice terraces that I’ve personally visited. Most of these are Cordilleran Rice Terraces since it is where the best terraces in the Philippines are located.
1. Maligcong Rice Terraces
I’ve been visiting Maligcong Rice Terraces several times. I just love coming back because of new explorations and experiences. Personally, it’s one of the best rice terraces in the Philippines I’ve seen. To get the best views of Maligcong Rice Terraces, you need to climb to Mt Kupapey. Don’t worry. It’s friendly for newbie hikers, and the trail is well-established. It takes more or less an hour of hike to reach the summit. From here, the terraces appear like gentle cascades. Even better, you’ll get the chance to glimpse of a stunning sunrise and sea of clouds when you come here during the early morning.
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Maligcong, Bontoc, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 10 minutes
- Extra Sights to See: Liknon Falls, Mt Fato, Mt Parutan
Travel Guide: Maligcong Rice Terraces DIY Travel Guide
2. Naculla Rice Terraces
Surely, this must be new to you. You don’t find this on Google or other mainstream media platforms. I’ve been visiting here when I was in college, and I tell you, it’s an amazing paradise. Like gentle ladders, Naculla Rice Terraces are eye-catching sights when you trek to Amfitayok Falls in the remote barangay of Ogo-og. Lush, mossy forests upstream feed rivers that irrigate the terraces all year round.
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Ogo-og, Barlig, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 1 hour
- Extra Sights to See: Amfitayok Falls, Finarongrongan Falls, Maripidchek Falls
3. Betwagan Rice Terraces
If you view this via Google Earth, they look like mounds of ancient structures. Whole hills of winding rice terraces! Rolling grasslands surround these rice terraces. These are pasturelands for carabaos used by the locals to till the terraces. Until today, some locals apply indigenous practices, rituals, and prayers before, during, and after growing rice crops.
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Betwagan, Sadanga, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 5-10 minutes
- Extra Sights to See: Betwagan River, Akay-ay Falls
4. Belwang Rice Terraces
Belwang Rice Terraces are some of the best rice terraces I’ve seen. The community of Belwang itself is a good viewing point. From here, you can glimpse of these majestic stone-walled rice terraces from east to west. Huge irrigation canals channel water from majestic Fowa-as Falls.
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Belwang, Sadanga, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 5 minutes
- Extra Sights to See: Fowa-as Falls, Angoten Cave, Cansil Cave, Mt Tungil
5. Kiltepan Rice Terraces
These are the terraces you’ll see at Kiltepan Viewpoint, one of Sagada’s famous tourist spots. It’s best to come here during the early morning to chance on a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sea of clouds.
- Location/Jump-off: Sagada, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 20-30 minutes from town center
- Van Ride: 10 minutes or less
- Extra Sights to See: Marlboro Hills, Blue Soil
6. Maducayan Rice Terraces
Maducayan Rice Terraces are among the remotest rice terraces in the Philippines. Unlike in most communities in the Cordillera mountains, the rice terraces here nestle on low-lying and gently-sloping landscapes. These terraces are fringed by towering mountains with dense forests and multiple streams providing unlimited water. During our visit here, I was surprised with the genuine hospitality of the locals. In all houses we went to, the family would readily offer meals and brewed coffee, one of their best products.
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Maducayan, Natonin, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 2 hours from the national highway
- Extra Sights to See: Mt Binaratan, Mt Balikongkong, Maducayan River and Multi-Falls
7. Kangao Rice Terraces
Kangao Rice Terraces are remnants of an ancient community who deserted the place due to a tragedy that struck them. Today, these terraces are farmed by the Lias tribal people who live five kilometers away upstream. It is one of the most-rustic rice terraces in the Philippines. Surrounded with pristine dipterocarp forests, these terraces typically come alive with the songs of wildlife. From time to time, you’ll chance on a hawk hovering around. In the past, families of monkeys would come to the terraces to steal banana or rice stalks.
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Lias Silangan, Barlig, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 1-2 hours from community proper
- Extra Sights to See: Kafiliw Twin Falls, Rafflesia Flowers, Limestone Rock Formations
8. Natonin Rice Terraces
The longest or grandest rice terraces in the Philippines are not found in Banaue or Batad, Ifugao. They are in a remote municipality called Natonin. The entire rice terraces here stretch unbroken for miles. Unlike in most areas, the rice terraces here sit on a gently sloping landscape. From vantage points, they look a giant bowl of rice terraces surrounded by towering mountains. Among the popular terraces here are the so-called Apatan, Lamayen, and Tonglayan. Catch a stunning view of these from Mt Toor or Mt Patikking.
- Location/Jump-off: Natonin, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 5 minutes
- Extra Sights to See: Naropaan Falls, Elephant’s Head
9. Pandey Rice Terraces
Pandey Rice Terraces is just one of the many found in Bauko, known as the Salad Bowl of Mountain Province. It is one of the primary sources of heirloom rice of different varieties. There surrounding hills and pine forests where you can climb to catch a bird’s eye view of the rice terraces.
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Bila, Bauko, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 20 minutes
- Extra Sights to See: Mt Polis, Toktok Allan Mountain, Paradise Falls
10. Dagiwdiw Rice Terraces
Dagiwdiw Rice Terraces sit on the foot of Mt Kalawitan, one of the highest peaks in the Philippines. It can be seen from the national highway when traveling to Sagada. The mighty Chico River traverses along the rice terraces.
- Location/Jump-off: Sabangan, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 10-15 minutes from community proper
- Extra Sights to See: Mt Kalawitan, Apa Campsite, Kapangdanan Bathing Pools
11. Kadchog Rice Terraces
These are stone-walled rice terraces near Bontoc town. You can also view them from the national highway. During a rainy day, beautiful waterfalls form on the rice terraces. When my friend and I visited, we found a monitor lizard. Yes, these wild species visit the terraces to catch prey, and their forest habitat is just a few meters away.
- Location/Jump-off: Bontoc, Mt Province
- Trekking Time: 5-10 minutes
- Extra Sights to See: Bontoc Museum, Bontoc Public Market, Chico River
12. Tinglayan Rice Terraces
Tinglayan, particularly Brgy Buscalan, is the home of the legendary tattoo artist, Apo Whang-od. Aside from an internationally-acclaimed celebrity, Tinglayan also hosts numerous rice terraces, some of which are nestled on jaw-dropping mountain views. Some rice terraces sit high on the mountains while others are just along the low-lying banks of Chico River.
- Location/Jump-off: Tinglayan, Kalinga
- Extra Sights to See: Sleeping Beauty Mountain, Balbalan Caves, Saltan River
Popular Rice Terraces in the Philippines
The most popular rice terraces in the Philippines are found in Ifugao province, primarily, in the municipalities of Banaue and Hungduan. Some of these are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Banaue Rice Terraces
- Location/Jump-off: Banaue, Ifugao
Batad Rice Terraces
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Batad, Banaue, Ifugao
Hapao Rice Terraces
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Hapao, Hungduan, Ifugao
Bangaan Rice Terraces
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Bangaan, Banaue, Ifugao
Mayoyao Rice Terraces
- Location/Jump-off: Mayoyao, Ifugao
Cambulo Rice Terraces
- Location/Jump-off: Brgy Cambulo, Banaue, Ifugao
Other Must-See Rice Terraces
Although not as grand as the Cordilleran rice terraces, you might catch a different experience when you visit the following rice terraces. The locals here have different cultures which are worth learning and understanding.
But here is a common thread between all the rice terraces in the Philippines – they portray the locals’ view of the land and water as resources to be nurtured and respected. Without this viewpoint, the rice terraces would have eroded, and the locals’ value of peaceful co-existence with nature long gone.
- La Union Rice Terraces
- Antique Rice Terraces
- Ilocos Norte Rice Terraces
- Ilocos Sur Rice Terraces
- Quirino Rice Terraces
- Nueva Vizcaya Rice Terraces